Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has suggested that he may reap future benefits from his 14-month spell on the sidelines, stating that he is now stronger than before.
The England international missed the whole of last season for his club, as well as Euro 2012 with England, after suffering recurring injury problem.
The player has now featured 11 times since returning for the Gunners in October and has impressed with assured displays, mixed with physicality at times.
The 20-year-old says that he now feels better than ever, stating that he may not burnout as quickly as other players thanks to the prolonged rest.
“My body is stronger than it was before,” he told the Official Arsenal Magazine. “I’ve done a lot of work with Declan Lynch and the other physios here over the past year.
“I’ve improved my core, improved my leg muscle strength – everything.
“Cesc [Fabregas] used to say to me ‘take it easy, don’t play too many games’. Obviously I didn’t want to have a year off, but when I’m 24 or 25 I won’t have played as many games as someone like Cesc, and that will help me.”
The midfielder then moved to explain what it was like having to sit and watches team-mates compete in the Premier League, citing Thierry Henry’s return and the 5-2 victory over Tottenham as two particular big occasions he missed out on.
“I was at Emirates for every single home match,” he added. “It was hard at times, because I really wanted to be out there.
“Not just for my own selfish reasons but I wanted to help the team too because we had some difficult periods last season.
“There were a few moments [it was hard to miss out on]. When Thierry came back in January, for example. He’s a legend and I really wanted to play in the same team as him. I also would have loved to play in that north London derby in February.
“When I look back now, though, I could probably have done with a break, having played so much the previous season.
“I didn’t want the break to be so long, in fact I didn’t want to have a break at all, but if I look back on this in 10 years’ time, it might have done me some good in the long run.”